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Google rejects state AG's request; Legal action to follow?

Google had until today to comply with the Connecticut Attorney General's demand that it hand over the data its Street View cars collected via unsecured WiFi.But Google, which has been cleared of wrongdoing by the Federal Trade Commission but remains under investigation by the Federal Communications Commission over the matter, rejected AG Richard Blumenthal's request, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Google had until today to comply with the Connecticut Attorney General's demand that it hand over the data its Street View cars collected via unsecured WiFi.

But Google, which has been cleared of wrongdoing by the Federal Trade Commission but remains under investigation by the Federal Communications Commission over the matter, rejected AG Richard Blumenthal's request, according to a Wall Street Journal report. That has left the state AG pondering his next steps, including legal action.

Blumenthal earlier this week filed a civil investigation demand, the equivalent of a subpoena, for the company to hand over the data so it can review it and determine if any of its state laws were broken.

It's one thing for Google to have the data in its possession, obtained when the Street View cars drove by and captured information from unsecured WiFi networks, but does any one really want Google to start sharing it and putting it in the hands of state officials, too? The company has said repeatedly that it's eager to delete the data but is continuing to work with authorities - both in the U.S. and in other countries - to determine which laws, if any, were broken.

Having been cleared by one federal agency already, there doesn't seem to be much motivation for Google to be handing over data to every local government - yes, that includes one of 50 states - that wants to sift through it. In this case, the fewer hands than have access to that data, the better.

We'll see if Blumenthal, Connecticut's U.S. Senator-elect, follows through with his threats of legal action in the coming weeks or if he'll be too busy getting ready to settle into his new gig on Capitol Hill. In the meantime, Google has bigger fish - in the form of governments overseas - to contend with on this matter.